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B.E.S.T. for Men (Black Elementary School Teachers) Program

Introducing B.E.S.T. FOR MEN (Black Elementary School Teachers), an innovative program to train and educate more Black male teachers by offering tuition-free full scholarships* to the Pillar College BA in Elementary Education.

Shape the Next Generation of Black Youth

Black teachers positively impact student graduation rates and college enrollment. In 2018, Johns Hopkins University and American University Researchers released their findings from a study:

  • Having at least one Black teacher in elementary school makes Black children more likely to graduate high school
  • Having at least one Black teacher makes them more likely to enroll in college
  • Black students who had at least one Black teacher by third grade were 13% more likely to continue on to college**
  • Black students with two Black teachers were 32% more likely to go on to college**
  • For very low-income Black male children, having a Black teacher reduced their chance of dropping out by 39%**

This phenomenon is known as the Role Model Effect. It is the reason we intend to provide Black males with full scholarships to the Pillar College BA in Elementary Education degree program.

B.E.S.T. for Men is Making News

B.E.S.T. for Men is in the news! Watch Pillar College President Dr. Rupert A. Hayles, Jr. talk about the program on WDHA’s Jersey Magazine with Jim Monaghan.
“The role model effect seems to show that having one teacher of the same race is enough to give a student the ambition to achieve, for example, to take a college entrance exam.”

– Nicholas Papageorge Broadus Mitchell Associate Professor of Economics, Johns Hopkins University

Elementary Education is a Growing Profession

It has an expected growth rate of 8% throughout the next eight years…and New Jersey is in the highest projected-growth category. The field opens the door to an extraordinarily rewarding career in education. Career options with this degree include:

  • Elementary school teachers
  • Early childhood teachers
  • Early childhood team leaders
  • Education administrators
  • Youth development
  • Health and wellness education

Scholarship Qualifications: Eligible applicants must meet all Pillar College entrance requirements and earn the qualifying score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills Assessment or provide an ACT or SAT score that is at or above the cut score designated in the year the exam was taken. Must obtain certification.

About the Pillar College Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education

Pillar College is the ONLY college in Newark, NJ with a Bachelor’s degree program in Elementary Education. The program is designed for future elementary school teachers, K through grade six. Students will gain the skills to effectively communicate with diverse learners, particularly in urban school districts.

The program promotes the intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development of young minds.

Benefits of the Pillar College Elementary Education degree program include:

  • Close faculty mentoring. Faculty works closely with students to help gain the tools and knowledge needed to succeed as an Elementary Educator.
  • Field experiences. Pillar College partnerships with Christian, private, and public schools offer an excellent opportunity for students to experience the type of classroom learning that is crucial for next-generation educators.
  • Small cohorts. The small size of the program enables students to engage in project-based learning that is culturally relevant in community contexts.

In the first year, students will gain hands-on classroom experience by participating in field-based learning experiences in the classroom with seasoned teachers.

In your final year, you will solidify your skills as a planner, problem solver, classroom manager and collaborative educator working with master teachers to incorporate teaching concepts and strategies into everyday practices that will prepare you for a rewarding career in education. Small class sizes encourage individualized learning and peer support. Our courses equip you to develop the confidence and skills needed to teach in public and private schools across the country.

B.E.S.T for MEN Scholarship (Limited Scholarship for the first 10 students)

The B.A. degree in Elementary Education Scholarship (BEST for MEN Scholarship) is available to the first 10 new students enrolling in the B.A. in Elementary Education as a full-time student. Accepted and eligible students can receive up to $15,000 annually (up to $7,500 per semester is applied towards tuition costs; all other fees will need to be paid by the student). Students must be eligible for full Pell and at least half of NJTag to qualify for this scholarship. No stipend can be created.

Eligible applicants must meet all Pillar College Admissions requirements and either earn the qualifying score on the Praxis Core Academic Skills Assessment or provide an ACT or SAT score that is at or above the cut score designated in the year the exam was taken.

New students who:

  • Enroll in the B.A. in Elementary Education in the Licensure Track.
  • Apply for the BEST Scholarship prior to the beginning of every award year.
  • Are committed to the completion of the B.A. in Elementary Education.
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Further requirements include:

  • Completion of FAFSA annually (if applicable).
  • Must be eligible for full Pell and at least half of NJTag per semester.
  • No funding will be available if a student is in default status with student loans.
  • Signing the estimate and/or Loan Declaration Form.
  • If applicable, sign a payment plan for the balance due, or make use of available financial aid.
  • Renewal of scholarship is always dependent upon making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) of GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Students must apply for the BEST Scholarship prior to the beginning of every award year.
  • Must be accepted prior to the fall semester or spring semester start dates.
  • Be enrolled full time (12 credits or more).
  • Continue in sequential enrollment until graduation in the B.A. Elementary Education major.


  • Students must apply in the beginning of each fiscal year to be processed.
  • All Federal and State funding will apply towards semester costs, excluding book charges.
  • All awards must apply only to tuition within the current semester.
  • The BEST Scholarship is exclusive to B.A. Elementary Education major students; no other Pillar College Grants or Scholarships will be applied (other than the one-time staff or student Referral Scholarship).
  • Stipends will only be generated off student loans.
  • Students will lose the BEST Scholarship if the student transfers to another major.
  •  Students will lose eligibility if they withdraw from Pillar College.


Office of Admissions

60 Park Place, Suite 701
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 973-803-5000
Fax: 973-556-1481
[email protected]

Mon-Fri: 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Saturday: Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed